Articles Tagged ‘Customer retention’

Move the Needle-Exceed Expectations

Tuesday, June 26th, 2012

Last September, I received an email from one of my sales coaching clients letting me know that they were terminating my contract. I asked for a brief explanation as to why. They indicated that 3 main factors led to their decision. First, I wasn’t holding their team accountable. Second, I seemed to review the same material each week and third, I hadn’t taught them anything about social media.

I was shocked to hear the rationale behind their decision. I would never agree to hold a sales team accountable (it’s their manager’s job), I review the fundamentals each week until the team begins to put them into practice and I can barely login to my Twitter® account.

So, what happened?

The reason this client became dissatisfied with my services had nothing to do with performance. They terminated my contract because I wasn’t meeting their expectations. It doesn’t matter that I never agreed to these expectations, what matters is that at some point I stopped paying attention to what they really wanted and instead focused on what I thought was important. This type of miscommunication leads to most arguments, both personal and professional.

In theory, exceeding expectations is a simple concept – find out what someone expects and make sure you always deliver a little bit more. However, it can be very difficult to consistently execute this straightforward idea because we get so focused on ourselves.

If you are interested in growing your business, you had better become an expert in not only meeting, but also exceeding the expectations of your prospects, customers, vendors and employees. Here’s a three-step process to get you started.

First, you need to set expectations. By “set” I mean that you should help them understand exactly what you feel is a reasonable expectation from your company. This is different than simply “understanding” expectations and the distinction is important. Often, your prospects, clients and employees will set unreasonable and unattainable expectations if you let them.

Next, build a set of uncomplicated systems for exceeding these expectations. For example, if you own an accounting firm and have set the expectation that taxes will be completed by April 15th, you had better have a system in place to collect your client’s information by mid March. In addition, you’ll want these systems to be as automated as possible.

Finally, measure your results. In other words, from time to time you need to make certain that you are exceeding the expectations you set. It’s also a good idea to review these results with your prospect, client and/or employee on a regular basis. You’ll be amazed at how quickly people forget conversations and allow expectations to drift.

There you go – 3 simple steps for helping you exceed expectations. As with most things in life, the solution is simple. All you need to do is choose to execute. Choose wisely.

C.J. McClanahan
Reachmore Strategies
317-576-8492
cjm@goreachmore.com

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The Three C’s of Customer Retention

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

The key solution to keeping customers from defecting and retention high is to make scheduled follow up communication a major priority in your business and not just an afterthought.

Here’s what I mean. Far too many business owners and those placed in charge of the marketing and sales functions, easily fall into the trap of walking over dollars to pick up pennies when it comes to the amount of time given towards cultivating customer relationships.

Driven by the need to get new customers, businesses of all shapes and sizes work hard to get a customer and then make the huge mistake of taking the business for granted by doing little if any follow up after the initial sale has been made.

I’m certain you’ve seen this happen with those you do business with and it’s shocking that it still takes place as often as it does when the cost in time and marketing dollars for new customer acquisition keeps going up.

Let me share with you what I call the “Three C’s” for staying in front of customers.

Connection. People buy from those they know, like and trust. You’ve probably heard that term before but let’s dig into a bit deeper for just a second. Do your customers really know you? Do they feel a connection beyond the product or service you sell?

I ask this, because the picky, busy, and Internet based customer of today is looking for more than just a transaction. They want to know more about those they choose to do business with and often ask themselves the following questions:

*Are they local and active within the community?
*Do they provide a good value for what they charge?
*What else do they provide that can help me improve my situation?
*Are they friendly and appreciate my business?
*What’s the company story and do they have a good reputation?
*Can I trust referring them to people I know?

One of the smartest ways to address these customer questions and concerns is to reveal your business and what makes it tick. A couple of great ideas include sharing your story in all of your social media channels and featuring your best customers, referral partners and staff in all marketing and communication efforts. It’s gotten super easy with tools such as Facebook, YouTube, blog sites and eletters.

The days of the nameless, lifeless company that collects money and hides behind a wall of secrecy are long gone. Many large corporations have yet to get this memo, and unfortunately many of them won’t until they see their customer retention take a negative hit and the number of referrals they hope to win either fade away or disappear. (Tony reminder: Hope is not a marketing strategy!)

Content. What information are you sharing with your customers? Is it mainly about helping them or is about how good you and your company are? Is it mainly educational in nature or nothing but continual sales pitches? These are two smart questions to ask yourself and think about for a moment.
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What Is a Customer?

Thursday, July 14th, 2011

DannyOmalia

A Customer… is the most important person in any business.

A Customer… is NOT dependent on us—we are dependent on him or her.

A Customer… is not an interruption of our work, but the purpose for it.

A Customer… does us a favor when he or she calls—we are not doing the customer a favor.

A Customer… is part of our business—not an outsider.

A Customer… is not a cold statistic—he or she is a flesh and blood human being just like us.

A Customer… is not someone to argue or match wits with.

A Customer… is a person who brings us his or her wants—it is our job to fill those wants.

A Customer… is deserving of the most courteous and attentive treatment we can give.

A Customer… is the person who makes it possible to pay your salary.

A Customer… is the lifeblood of this and every business

Danny O’Malia
Indy’s Trusted Servant
(317) 413-9062
fax (317) 815-8755
www.indystrustedservant.blogspot.com

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